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NMJC's Western Heritage Museum to Host International Christmas Event

11/17/2011 12:10:42 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. On Thursday, December 1, the Western Heritage Museum Complex and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame in Hobbs will host the 4th annual Christmas Traditions from around the World.

The event kicks off the holiday season with an extravagant mix of the sights, sounds, and tastes of Christmas as it is celebrated globally. There will be food, drink, music, live performances, costumes, and a celebration of the many Christmas customs as they’re observed throughout the world.

The Museum will be elegantly decorated throughout with a number of designer Christmas trees, including a Peace Tree and a Military Tree of Honor. Mary Lyle, Education and Events Coordinator for the Museum, explained that the Military Tree of Honor is meant to commemorate the men and women who are currently serving in the military or have served in the past. “We encourage everyone to share the honor of their loved ones’ service to our country through this means,” she said. “Because these are treasured photos, we prefer that people either send them digitally or bring them by and let us scan them for them. Besides their name, rank, and branch of service, we’d like to have when and where they served. We genuinely hope to honor as many servicemen and women from this region as possible. Through the end of this year, hundreds and possibly thousands of visitors will view the Tree of Honor and those who proudly served. We’re hoping for great participation on their behalf.”

This year’s Christmas Traditions from around the World will include samplings of food and drink from over a dozen countries, including England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, and Russia, to name a few. Live performances, storytelling, Christmas carols sung by Victorian carolers, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be part of the evening’s festivities as well.

Thanks to the event’s overwhelming popularity, a number of changes have been made this year to accommodate the event’s capacity crowds.  Tickets will be sold for identical events at either 6–7:30 pm or 7:30–9 pm.  Once inside, guests will find an all-new, greatly expanded format that incorporates additional locations throughout the Museum to showcase the various countries and their tables.

According to Lyle, the event reflects the changing face of Lea County as visitors from numerous cultures begin to call this area home and bring holiday traditions with them.  “It’s not only educational, it’s also great fun to learn more about someone else’s traditions. This event is one small way we can begin to discover more about one another while making the holidays a little more familiar to some of our new friends and neighbors who are far from home,” she said.

Part of the proceeds from the event benefit NMJC’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which annually provides a holiday party for the foster children of Lea County.  Throughout the year, members of PTK hold various fundraisers for the event, which traditionally serves 75-150 foster children. According to Maria Vick, sponsor for PTK, financial assistance from this year’s Museum event would make a significant difference for the organization’s ability to help treat the children to a festive event.

Tickets for “Christmas Traditions from around the World” cost $6 for adults and $3 for children 3-12 years of age.  Children two and under are free. Admission tickets will automatically be entered into drawings for a variety of door prizes. Winners need not be present to win. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum, or for more information, call the Museum at 575.392.6730.

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